Sunday, June 3, 2012

Just when they said I shouldn't be running...

...I went running anyway.  At least that is to say, after I dragged my ass into the chiropractor, Dr. Bruce Grossman in Highland Park.  I first went to him about 1yr ago, then, like now, struggling with a chronic L5 disc injury from none other than, yes, A TRAIL RACE!  Anyway, I have generally managed the scenario, with a couple flair ups here and there.  But just recently, it was the worst its ever been.  I can attribute this to, carelessly attempting to lift a lawn mower into the back of my car...after running a 50k trail race.  Yes, a bad move.
The next day I could barely stand up straight, and then I actually couldn't straighten up at all, tottering about like a hunch back.
This was me a few days ago, including the creepy grin.
So, the good doctor set me back on the path to well being.  Of course he tells me not to run until I've made it 48hrs without pain.  In this regard, I'd say he's a smarter man than I, and one who knows a fair bit about running for a guy who isn't a runner.  He's worked with the Rutgers football team and after the first visit last yr, I did gain confidence that he is legit and can understand where I'm coming from.  I'd recommend him if you need a chiropractor around HP/South Edison.
Events of recent days:
Friday morning at 10am-Spinal adjustments and electro-stim at Chiropractor's office.
Saturday morning: 6am- I'm standing on the D&R canal towpath with some a group of about 8 runners.  We're going running...for a while.  Near 5hrs later, we're in New Brunswick. I ran 34.4miles.  A couple hundred other runners joined us along the way, several others ran 68.4miles(New Bruns. to Trenton, and ran back with us!) Along the way, we saw 2 monster turtles, and just really enjoyed being out there! We had an excellent bbq afterwards too! RVRR is just swell!
  Remember, I admitted the Dr. is a smarter man than I.
Now you must think, "Mike, you must be a glutton for pain!"
But, I'll one up any man when it comes to taking things a step too far(for better or worse). And in 16yrs of competitive running you learn what you can handle, but you don't learn anything without taking some risks.
Sunday(Today) 8am- I compete in the USATF-NJ Club Track and Field Championship at Monmouth University, in both the 5k race walk, and then 2hrs later, the 3k steeplechase!
They do this on the track, look at those hips swivel!

   I did the race walk was in hopes of grabbing some points for GSTC, as we were gunning for a first ever win at this meet! Although willing, I am essentially a novice in race walk. I did it twice while I was in college, and that was all in good fun to amuse my teammates.  But today was more awkward than you'd imagine, going at it with a tight/pain ridden back.  But no one else in our club's active roster had ever done it.
Lesson learned: Be careful of what stories you tell... or else you might be  race walking the day after a 34mile run too!
Thankfully, our strategy worked, I was the only Open finisher, and thus, scored 5pts for the team, and was unceremoniously crowned USATF-NJ Mens Open 5k Race walk Champ of 2012!  I actually finished DFL, but none of them were under the age of 40.  They all lapped me at least once!  A somewhat surreal experience, but it was cool, afterward, I congratulated some of these race walkers.  They were all very enthusiastic and cordial.  Doing their best to encourage me about trying it again in the future(sorry guys, this was a limited engagement, I'm sticking to the steeple!)
Notice the wince of pain on my face, the landing was less fun.

So, the 3k steeple...yup, I did it.  It wasn't pretty, I ran a shitty time, and I knew every landing in the water jump was going to hurt like hell.  And it did.  My hopes of an easy stroll and limited pain just weren't meant to be.  I battled, gained ground on one runner and finished 4th for the last scoring position(1pt for the team).  We won the meet, and I joined some friends at Sandy Hook, did a Beer sampling and had a nice early dinner with friends!
I wasn't as pumped about it as the guy in this video, but it was a pretty cool end to a full day.
   On the drive home...I saw a double rainbow in my rear view mirror as I drove north on the GSP.
Times like these have taught me, that pain is my play thing.  I'll persist through a lot of it, more than most people.  Challenge yourself and see what you can achieve.  Flesh withers to dust, Pain is temporary, and Championships never die!
It's been a good weekend, time for some R&R.